A new venture for Caritas
In January 2014, Caritas Family Solutions decided to take on a new venture and start working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Caritas started the CILA program (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) from the ground up. Even though this program has only been open just over a year, a lot has happened and it has been a thrilling ride thus far. A quote by Winston Churchill explains the process well, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Our first home
Even though the CILA program technically opened in January 2014, it wasn’t until September when we were finally able to open the doors for individuals to move into their everlasting home. During the eight month process, Jamie Diekemper, CILA manager, worked hard at meeting residents, guardians, and families who were interested in moving into a new home where they would have their own room and live in a more intimate family setting with three other housemates. She made sure the housemates had some familiar interests and life aspects to ensure they would get along well and enjoy the home as their new found family. Jamie not only had to discover interested individuals, but she also had to develop policies and procedures, get the home move-in ready, and hire new employees.
Obstacles along the way
In addition to Jamie’s efforts, Caritas worked with developers to decide on a place and style of a home they would like to build. We were first told the home would take ninety days to be completed, but we soon learned there were many obstacles we would face along the way. We broke ground on our home April 2014. The home wasn’t complete until August 2014 and with all the state, city and county guidelines, our first resident did not move in until September 22, 2014.
By September 27, 2014, we had three individuals living in our newly built 4-bedroom home. The fourth individual moved into the home the middle of November 2014. All the residents are happy to be living as independently as they possibly can. They do several activities such as: Day Training or Workshop five days per week, visit with family (either go on home visits or their family comes to their new home), go shopping, bowling, see shows, out to eat, etc. Their abilities are endless! It is great to see them thrive in a new setting by meeting new people, making new friends, learning new skills and of course still living an independent live style.
Continuing to grow
As of February 26, 2015, another newly built 4-bedroom CILA home opened. Three new individuals are in the process of moving in and really seem to enjoy their new space. Also, Caritas is currently in the process of striving to open another CILA home, prospected for late Spring 2015 into early Summer 2015. Caritas not only gained a new program, they gained an everlasting family.